With a heavy heart we report that the successful FEI competitor Lutz, a Haflinger gelding by Argument, recently passed away. Ridden by Susanne Hamilton, the charismatic competitor made his mark in the dressage arena, recently wrapping up a winter season in Wellington, Florida with scores through 68.75 in the Intermediare I CDI. As both an international dressage horse and ambassador for the sport, Lutz was known for his athleticism and cheeky nature.
Hamilton stated that her highlight with Lutz was winning the 2016 Region 8 Open Prix St. George Championships against 28 professionals, and then winning the Intermediare I on top of it. Opting to give the horse a break instead of going to Nationals, the pair were invited to ride at the Dressage Under the Stars charity in Wellington and took the crowd by storm, winning the freestyle competition. He went on to place in the following week’s CDIW and win The Dressage Foundation’s Two Tempi Challenge after performing 58 continuous two tempis.
“The best part about competing Lutz was always the crowds and the cheering. People came from everywhere to see this little Austrian horse compete and do his magic. He always delivered and in return really enjoyed himself in the awards,” said Hamilton.
In late February, just before the Dressage Derby CDI, Lutz was diagnosed with laminitis. Despite 300lbs of ice, full time care at Rood & Riddle, and a number of relapses, the decision was made to free Lutz from the pain. “We wanted to keep him around for selfish reasons, and the decision to put him down was heart wrenching,” said Hamilton.
As an FEI competitor and ambassador for the sport, Lutz and his team received mail, texts, Facebook messages, and well wishes from around the globe. “Lutz made it clear that it is possible to follow your dream with a mount that isn’t a warmblood.” said Hamilton. “People really fell in love with him for being such an ambassador. Personality wise he was a joy to work with; he would prick his ears forward and look at you with these big mascara eyes. Under saddle he was cheeky, an athlete with a mind, brain, and some strong opinions of his own. It took me a year to get clean tempis, as Lutz decided that we had to do them the way he wanted not the way we wanted! I finally got the memo and Lutz would hold no grudge when I’d do a good job. He was a fantastic horse both for me, as an international competitor, and for his amateur owner, Bettina Hinckley.”
“Lutz was an amazing, talented, and beautiful horse,” said Hinckley. “For me and my family he was a gentle companion, loved his people and his dogs. he could spend hours watching the croquet court next to his paddock. Riding him was pure joy, and with Susanne he thrived on the music and applause at shows. I am so grateful to have had him in my life, grateful for what he represented for the “little” guys and their riders. He was a truly golden horse, and gone too soon. I also thankful for all of the care givers who made his career possible and most of all to Susanne who found him and believed in him.”
Hamilton continued, “We loved so many things about him, his reliability, his size, his nonchalant attitude, his love of competing and showing off. Being around him always made us feel good, and right now I’d give anything to look out the window and see him peeking out from under that wild blonde forelock to see if I might come over and chat with him.”
Photos courtesy of Carmen Queca Franco
31 March at 11 : 28 AM 0
30 March at 15 : 57 PM 0
29 March at 12 : 16 PM 0
28 March at 12 : 18 PM 0